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Is Baby Just Overly Sensitive To Noise?

by Nancy
(Wisconsin)

My 5-month-old son has suddenly become very sensitive over new sounds and people. He screams like he is in pain and does not settle down.

Every time a baby cries at daycare he is screaming. He doesn’t eat or sleep well there. He only sees his Grandma once a week and he screams over every little thing with her. If she talks too loudly or picks him up too quickly it’s like his little world has crumbled to pieces. I cannot raise my voice at all or he cries. He also cries when his Grandpa talks too loudly or gets in his face when he first sees him, and they spend time together multiple days a week.

I feel sorry for him that he is afraid. Is it okay for him to cry for 15-20 minutes straight when his Grandma has him or should I be taking him back to comfort him?

The whole family is frustrated and just thinks I’m being a picky and over protective first time mom. I disagree. I know Grandma does her best and is trying to comfort him, but he doesn’t settle down at all and it makes me want to cry. Any suggestions for helping him at daycare?

Baby Help Line:

5 Month Baby Sensitive To Noise And New People

It does sound as if your little son is a bit more sensitive to load sounds than the “average 5 month baby”. On the other hand, not being average is certainly not the same thing as not being normal. Babies are different, some need a little bit more security and comfort than others.

One thing that comes to my mind, though, is he early with reaching his milestones? While most “average babies” might not be emotionally developed to experience separation anxiety and stranger anxiety until they are around 7 months, some are early. And it does sound to me as if your son is experiencing these types of anxieties.

If that’s the case, he is in a sensitive development stage and everything you can do to make him feel secure will actually help him getting passed this stage more quickly.

So, your instinct to NOT let him cry is completely right! It doesn’t really matter how good intentions grandma might have; your son needs you now or whoever else he is secure with.

At daycare, explain to his daycare nurse that he is in a sensitive period and simply needs to be cuddled, held and cared for. Letting babies “cry it out” at this stage might actually simply make things worse. They cry for a reason!

To help him get used to load sounds, maybe try and play some games with him, clapping hands or playing a drum for example, to help him realize that load sounds can be fun instead of frightening.

Here you can read about another baby sensitive to loud sounds.

Also read about the 5 months old baby here. Make sure you also read about ages between 7 months old and 9 months old, to learn more about stranger and separation anxiety.

Hug your little son, he’ll grow big and bold faster than you know and want! :-)

Paula